"If I'm going to sit down and eat with you, just tell me the truth."

May 30, 2010
New York Magazine published a fantastic interview with Joan Rivers (I'm pretty keen to see the new documentary about her.) It's so great when a comedienne is still fun to listen to when she's being earnest.

I liked a lot of what she said, especially her thoughts on friendship-- I agree that it's so important to really be able to talk to people about more than just the weather. Here, she describes what it was like to spend a lot of time with the high society crowd in New York:

"... It’s all very glamorous at the beginning. Going to the Metropolitan Opera, taking a table here, being on a committee there. Going out all the time all dressed up."

She levels me with a look. "And then I got bored to death. Nobody tells you the truth. I once asked one of the ladies, 'Did you ever have an affair?' And she stared at me like I was crazy. 'Why would I tell you?' she said. Another time, someone had just bought an apartment and I said, 'How much?' And she said, 'That is really none of your business.' And I thought, Fine. Then we are not friends and I don’t want to spend any more time with you. I was friendly with one couple who I no longer see at all. They would always say, 'We're such good friends.' And then I found out that their daughter had a complete nervous breakdown. For a year, I was always told everything is wonderful. Well, then what are we wasting our time here at [Upper East Side restaurants] Elaine's or Mortimer's or Swifty's? I don’t want to sit in Swifty's and not say anything about anything. I just totally stepped away.

... All I want you to do, if we are sitting down and it's after 6 p.m., is tell me the truth. Because we've all lied to each other all day long in business and we've all had these lunches and we've all ass-kissed to the point where I carry Chapstick. If I am going to sit down and eat with you, just tell me the truth and let me say to you, "Things are lousy and I’m sad.'"

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